Four Easy Vegetables You Can Grow Yourself
In my last post, we talked about five reasons for growing your own garden. Some of you, though, don’t have a whole lot of time for working in the soil. Or maybe you really don’t enjoy gardening but still want your own produce. How to solve the dilemma? Try these easy-to-grow veggies!
Spinach is super, SUPER easy to grow! It likes cooler weather, so it is also a great veggie to plant early and enjoy while the rest of the garden is still getting going.
Spinach seeds should be planted in moist (but not wet) soil about ¾ inch deep and two inches apart. It takes the seeds a week or so to germinate, and a couple weeks after that you should be able to harvest some nice tender leaves! Keep the soil moist and weeds pulled.
An amazing thing about spinach is that if you cut off the leaves and leave the roots in the ground, more leaves will grow on the plant. This way you can continue to enjoy fresh spinach for a lot longer!
If it gets very hot where you live, your spinach will probably whither and possibly turn yellow in the heat. So be sure to plant it in early spring and again in the late summer after the worst of the heat is past. It is very fast-growing, so you will be able to enjoy it again before fall hits!
Peas are another veggie you can (and should) seed early, but it does take a bit longer to yield. Plant the seeds about two inches deep and six inches apart, in rows two feet apart. If you can, plant along a fence or trellis so that the vines will be able to grow upwards and finding the peas will be easier.
Usually peas will germinate within two weeks if it’s not too cold outside. It will take about two or three months until the vines bloom. During this time, just take a few minutes a day to water if necessary, weed, and train the vines to climb the trellis by attaching the tendrils to it.
Once the peas bloom, it will be approximately three weeks until the pods are ready. Depending on what type of pea you are going with, you may have to shell them and only eat the peas. This is clearly a lot more work than just eating the pods with the peas, so if you are going for easy, plant edible-pod peas like snow peas or sugar snap peas.
Beets should be planted once the soil has reached 50 degrees. Plant the seeds ½ inch deep and about two inches apart. They should germinate within five to ten days. As always, water and weed as necessary.
You may need to thin the beets a bit as they grow to keep them from becoming crowded. It’s a good idea to keep them a couple inches apart. The greens are edible and very nutritious, so add the thinnings to your salads or steam them lightly.
Check the beets every now and then as they grow and eat them at whatever stage you like. They are typically a lot sweeter and more tender when they are still small. Ad don’t forget to eat the greens! I like to freeze the greens and add them to my smoothies for a healthy boost that you really can’t even taste!
Carrots are so much better homegrown than store-bought, that there is really no comparison!
Plant carrot seeds ¼ inch deep and about two inches apart in loose soil. Try to plant them about a month before the final frost in your area. They will take about two or three weeks to germinate, so be sure to keep the soul moist during this time.
As the carrots grow, thin as necessary to give them space to continue growing. Carrots can be eaten at any stage, and like most veggies, the smaller ones are usually sweeter!
I hope this short list will inspire you to get out and start planting! These really are simple vegetables to grow and they taste so good when they are homegrown!